The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, set a new winter peak demand record between 7 and 8 a.m. CST on Monday. Cold weather drove power demand to an hourly peak of 57,958 MW, according to initial data. The previous winter peak of 57,265 MW was set Feb. 10, 2011. The new winter record exceeds the previous December demand record of 53,642 MW (set Dec. 10, 2013, between 7 and 8 a.m.) by more than 4,000 MW. As a cold front blew into the state over the weekend, the ERCOT system also experienced a new record for instantaneous wind generation output. Wind output reached 15,195 MW at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday, topping the previous record of 15,033 set Nov. 27, 2016. ERCOT recently said an improving economy has lifted power demand in the Lone Star State, which gets most of its power from natural gas-fueled plants.
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